Being on time is something that seems to be falling out of vogue in today’s society.
All too often, people show up late for everything from work and meetings to get-togethers and coffee dates. In fact, it’s estimated that 15 to 20 percent of the US population is consistently late. Many people today just don’t have timeliness as a priority.
But while lateness is, sadly, not uncommon, being punctual is more important than many people realize. Sure, it may be less glamorous or exciting than some other attributes, like say, courage –or bravery, but it’s vitally important nonetheless.
If you find yourself chronically late –or if you’re quite punctual, some of the time, it’s worth reminding yourself on some of the benefits of timeliness –both in professionally and personally. Let’s take a look at a few ways that being late damages your reputation and your professional success, and see how being early can benefit you in more ways than one.
What It Says When You Are Late
It may seem unlikely, but being late actually says a lot about you.
Being regularly late sends out vibes that you’re untrustworthy and unreliable –among others things. It also says that you may be distracted easily, are not task oriented, and don’t know how to schedule your time. Not exactly the type of messages you want to be sending out if you’re hoping to advance your professional career, or are gunning for a promotion!
We all know that emergencies can, and do happen, but if your overall track record is being late, then it might be time to stop and rethink things. If you are hoping to be in line for that next big promotion, you’ll want to adjust your schedule so that you leave plenty of time to get to work –even if the traffic happens to be bad.
What It Says When You’re On Time
While timeliness may seem inconsequential, chances are that your employer or manager does notice and they do care.
Being on time says more about you as a person and your work ethics than words ever could. While your performance matters greatly, showing up late doesn’t get things off to a good start. Being on time indicates that you are diligent, trustworthy, and dependable. It implies that you value commitment and have a great deal of respect –for other people’s time as well as your own. This is true in both the workplace, and when meeting up with friends or family after work. While being late can put a strain on your relationships, causing others to feel that you don’t value them or their time, being early shows that you are a person of your word, and that you care enough about them to make an effort –something that they will appreciate.
Finally, there’s another very good reason for being on time: it can help to build your self-confidence. In addition to showing others that you’re dependable, it shows you that you can depend on yourself as well. Setting goals, and sticking to them will help you self-confidence to grow tremendously, proving to yourself that you are in control of your life –rather than being controlled by your habits.
Excuses or Emergency?
Most people claim that they’re late due to extenuating circumstances, but when does something count as an actual emergency?
An emergency is generally considered to be a serious and unexpected situation that requires immediate action. So hitting the snooze button three times before getting up late, for example, isn’t considered an emergency.
However, things do come up that are genuinely mitigating circumstances. Loved ones get sick, cars don’t start, you get a flat tire –and you might be late. But this should be the exception –not the rule.
Perhaps you have been working on being on time, or maybe you haven’t given it much thought, regardless, being on time is an important goal that you should aim to achieve. Try to make it a priority –and make an objective to be on time every day this week. Then, watch is it helps to improve your reputation at work, and the relationships in your personal life as well.